Ontario -> Seattle driver license

Thomson Reuters / Eng

Thomson Reuters Eng

Sep 9 4 Comments

Just moved to Seattle, wondering what is up with the driver license.

From what I read online, Ontario driver license will need to redo all of the steps needed to obtain a driver license for the first time in Seattle, such as going to driver school, take the written and road test.

I am on TN visa with G license but not planning to drive or buy a car, so is it necessary to exchange my Ontario driver license to Seattle?

Is it legal to keep my Ontario driver license?


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TOP 4 Comments
  • Amazon DCDa42
    I believe you can keep your Ontario license for a year after moving, but I’m not sure.

    Assuming you’re over 18, you can get a Washington license by going to a driving school to take a written test, and a road test. After passing those, they enter it in the system, and you need to take your ID documents, and proof of address to the DoL.

    You do not need to take lessons, or get a learner’s permit if you are over 18, though you are welcome to do so.


    Only BC can transfer a license directly:

    If you do not plan I’m driving, and do not see a need for a driver license, you can skip the tests, and get a state ID instead.

    Also note: That regular Washington licenses and IDs are not RealID compliant. RealID compliant enhanced licenses and IDs are available to US Citizens only. This means that a regular license or ID cannot be used for air travel in the US after October 1st, 2020, and you will need to use a NEXUS card or Passport.
    Sep 9 2
    • Cornerstone n0p705h
      It looks like any legal US resident is eligible for a REAL ID. https://www.dmv.pa.gov/REALID/Pages/REAL-ID-Non-U.S.Citizens.aspx
      Sep 9
    • Amazon DCDa42
      That link is from Pennsylvania, different states have different rules about IDs.

      Washington state issues two types of licenses. A normal license, and an “Enhanced” license. The normal license is not RealID compliant because it is possible to get it without being in the country legally. The enhanced ID can be used to enter the US by land or sea, and is only issued to US Citizens, along with stricter ID requirements. The enhanced ID meets RealID standards.
      Sep 9
  • Cornerstone n0p705h
    You can keep your license and no one will be the wiser, but I think legally your license has to have your current address.
    Sep 9 0